W.O. Bentley's mews garage off Baker Street, London in 1919 began from the humblest of beginnings and quickly achieved a reputation and fame for their fast touring cars. Bentley dominated at Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 with the help of Woolf Barnato, Jack Dunfee, Tim Birkin, and Sammy Davis.
In 1919, W.O. Bentley introduced the new 3-Litre car on Stand 126 at the Olympia Motor Exhibition. The prototype engine had been completed just a few weeks earlier. The four-cylinder fixed-head engine had a single overhead camshaft, four-valves per cylinder, and a bore and stroke that measured 80 x 149mm. The ignition was provided by twin ML magnetos and power was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed unsynchronized gearbox with right-hand change. Initially, the pressed-steel chassis rested on a 117.5-inch wheelbase later adopting dimensions of 10-foot, 10-inch 'Standard Long' in 1923. The shorter size was then reserved for the TT Replica and later Speed Model. The rear wheel brakes were upgraded in 1924 with four-wheel Perrott-type brakes.
At the 1922 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, Bentleys finished second, fourth, and fifth to take the Team Prize. This led to the introduction of the TT Replica which was later known as the Speed Model. They were given the shorter 117.5-inch platform and were identified by the Red Label on the radiator. The Speed Models were fitted with twin SU 'sloper' carburetors, a different camshaft, and a higher compression ratio. Additionally, they received the close-ratio A-type gearbox until the C-Type 'box' was adopted in 1927. They had a larger 11-gallon fuel tank and were often given Andre Hartford shock absorbers.
During the production lifespan of the 3-Litre model, Bentley produced 1,613 examples with most receiving bodies by Vanden Plans with either open tourer or saloon coachwork. 513 of these were Speed Model specification examples. by Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2019
Related Reading : Bentley 3 Litre History
Walter Owen Bentley, commonly known as WO, worked as an apprentice at the Great Northern Railway where he designed airplane engines. The first Bentley automobile was created in London just after the end of World War I, and given a three-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 65 horsepower. It was designed by the companys founder, Walter Owen, and benefited from his technical abilities and skill..... Continue Reading >>
Walter Owen Bentley was well known in the motorcar world when he introduced his first three-litre model at the 1919 London Auto Show. Racing successes earned Bentley world-wide prestige. In fact, these automobiles won the grueling 24-hour race at Le ....[continue reading]
The British automaker Bentley Motors Limited was founded in 1919 by W.O. Bentley who was known for his World War I rotary aero-engines used in the Sopwith Camel. The company was also well respected for its racing success. In the 1930s, Bentley was at....[continue reading]
This Bentley 3-Liter model was originally fitted with body number 1089 and a matte black Sports body. It was delivered to Air Commodore Webb Bowen in December of 1924. It has a Vanden Plas body and rides on chassis number 815 and powered by engine nu....[continue reading]
When World War I came to a close, W.O. Bentley began work on designing a new engine. With the help of F.T. Burgess from Humber and Harry Varley from Vauxhaull, the work was complete and all the parts were manufactured by September of 1919. Nobby Clar....[continue reading]
This Bentley 3 - 4 1/2 was originally delivered in 1924 to W. Norcliffe of the United States. Like so many old cars it disappeared into decay until the early 1960s when it was unearthed in the United Kingdom as a true 'barn find.' While many of the o....[continue reading]
The Bentley 3-Litre used a long-stroke four-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder, operated by a shaft-drive overhead camshaft. It had a fixed cylinder head which would be used on subsequent cars until the 1930s. Announced in May of 1919, the....[continue reading]
This very original Bentley 3 Litre was built on a 10-foot, 10-inch wheelbase and fitted with a low compression engine and B Type gearbox. The car was first sold through Bridges Garage of Cirencester in Gloucestershire, a small coachbuilder and genera....[continue reading]
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